AllofMP3.com, a Moscow-based site that's been branded as the world's highest-volume dealer of pirated music, just announced plans to release hundreds of thousands of albums for free.
What's made it popular in the first place-it claims to have five million subscribers-are the easy interface and the low prices. The site claims to be working in line with Russian copyright law, but it has nonetheless faced battles with the music industry, as well as having its card service being suspended by Visa on Tuesday. That was also the day AllofMP3 said its business model would move towards ad-suported distribution of content, similar to the Spiralfrog service that's been getting attention lately. Songs downloaded from AllofMP3 wlll only be useable at on one computer at a time, and the software program that will allow these free downloads will eventually be available for both mac and PC.
At an online chat this week, Vadim Mamotin, director general of the site's parent company, mentioned that in its six years of operation, AllofMP3 has never been convicted by a Russian court or declared illegal. Still, one can't help but hear the distant drums of a lawsuit approaching this battlefield.